Please click on names for further infomation.
From 1st May 2020, I took on the role of Director at Bowhaven.
I joined BowHaven as a trustee in June 2014 and was Chair of Trustees from June 2017 to April 2020. During this time I have developed good working relationships with some local charities and organisations including CVS, Ability Bow and Mind. I look forward to developing these further.
I have also worked for Scope as HR Consultant and for Young Minds as Head of HR. Prior to working in the charity sector, I worked in a range of private and public sector organisations. Prior to working in HR, I was a Lecturer in further and higher education, most recently at University of Greenwich.
I find the communities in East London vibrant and engaged and I feel that despite our many challenges, we are a welcoming and warm community.
We are a resilient and positive charity and I am determined to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our local communities, especially in these challenging times.
Please keep safe, stay well and stay home. It’s really important that we follow Govt. advice at this time.
I was born in Tower Hamlets and have lived in the area for most of my life, so being able to work for a charity that serves the needs of the local community means a lot to me. I entered the care profession at the age of 16, and have been working in Adult Mental Health services since I was 19.
During that time, I have qualified as a social worker, and have also achieved my NVQ levels 5 and 6 in Management. I joined BowHaven 8 years ago, and what immediately attracted me to the organisation, was the difference it was making to our members’ lives through not only consulting them, but also providing the support, encouragement and opportunities for them to actively participate in the running of the groups, and centre as a whole.
With the latter, there has been a long standing myth that having mental health difficulties, means that you are limited in what you can do and achieve. I am therefore proud to be part of an organisation that has always positively challenged this in the best way possible.
When I started at BowHaven, we had just the four groups. This means that as the longest serving staff member, I have seen the various transitions on the way to the current service provision of a full timetable of 10 groups, plus the one-to-one support sessions we can offer members throughout the week as well.
While transitions are no doubt not without their challenges, BowHaven has ensured that our members’ views, opinions and ultimately welfare have always been at the forefront of the organisation’s thinking. This has been key to our past and present success, and has laid a great foundation for numerous future successes to look forward to.
Having accomplished my goals of working for Morgan Stanley a top tier investment bank, and Deloitte, one of the Big Four accountancy firms, I decided it was time for me to give back to my local community.
When the opportunity for BowHaven arose, I was excited that I could be a part of this small ‘family feel’ charity. Our members require kindness, care and understanding to get back on their feet and I believe BowHaven offers a unique sanctuary to help members recover and remain well. Seeing people with difficult circumstances coming to BowHaven and flourishing, makes BowHaven a very rewarding place to work for. Being able to work at BowHaven part-time, also gives me an envious work life balance so that I can be a great mother to my daughters.
As a mental health service user I am glad to have the opportunity to volunteer at BowHaven, and communicate with people how I would like to be communicated with – with respect, understanding and compassion.
My early career was in the arts – one of my jobs was as Publicity Officer for the Corporation of London’s Barbican Art Gallery. I changed career to do work that was more meaningful for myself and other service users.
I first came to BowHaven 9 years ago when I worked for the NHS East London Mental Health Trust – I’m not a medical professional, I worked in a Governance capacity as the People Participation Lead for Tower Hamlets. At the time, through my work with the Trust, I provided training to BowHaven members in how to run their own meetings, and become involved in decision making – all with the aim of self-empowerment.
I currently look after the membership paperwork – one of the members even calls me the Referrals Specialist! I also take the minutes for all Trustees’ meetings.
I enjoy the caring and vibrant atmosphere of BowHaven, where the services provided by the centre are run by both the members and staff in a co-produced way, which really benefits all our members.
Monica practises Holistic Massage, Indian Head Massage, Reflexology, Metamorphic Technique, Tui-Na Chinese Massage and Reiki and Shamanic Healing. She is a fully qualified Complementary Holistic Therapist and she is now studying Craniosacral Therapy.
Having worked with a variety of clients, she understands the importance of tailoring the treatments to suit the uniqueness of individual needs.
She has been working within bereavement, drugs and alcohol, mental health and homeless organisations in London where she also delivers Well Being workshops.
I have now been working in Bowhaven for more than 5 years, mainly as a Massage Therapist and Well Being Workshops and lately I just started the Art & Craft Skills for Life workshop every Thursday. Here we will enjoy in a very friendly atmosphere to unleash our creativity by making cards, sawing, knitting, jewellery making and much more.
She firmly believes in the power of therapeutic positive touch as a form of healing on every level, along with the caring and loving approach to each and every client, hence supporting them in improving their quality of life by empowering the individual. As a holistic therapist I also feel that creativity in every form is a great part of healing and support with mental health.
Her warm, friendly and professional way of being makes clients feel at ease and relaxed supporting the healing process. According to her clients, friends and family, her contagious smile and positive attitude to life brings out the sun on a rainy day.
I have a background in community arts projects and studied Fine Art at university. I’ve always been interested in the transformative nature of art and creativity and how that intersects with mental health recovery and well being. After setting up and running community arts projects in London and further afield I came to Bowhaven in 2014 to help start the Art+ group, a weekly art group for BowHaven members.
It is my own journey through mental health and addiction issues that gave me the incentive and inspiration to help others. Art changed my life at a time of great difficulty and I see it as both my duty and privilege to help others experiencing similar issues. My ethos when setting up art groups has always been to strike that balance between therapy and self-empowerment. Every member is given the support and encouragement to follow their own creative path, based on what inspires them. An emphasis is placed on the integrity of the individual and the artwork they produce, encouraging the development of skills and as a way of expressing thoughts and emotions to aid their recovery. The result of this is artwork as individual and diverse as the group itself. We hold regular exhibitions, awards ceremonies and visits to galleries. Knowledge about art and art history is an important factor of the group too, helping members to connect to art in their everyday lives.
Along with running Art+, I currently run BowHaven’s social media accounts and help to promote BowHaven’s online presence through the website. As well as being involved in organising exhibitions and events, my focus is on raising awareness of this small but much needed and unique charity.
I am the personal trainer who works with BowHaven’s ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ and ‘Open Morning’ groups, and I have been in the profession for more than 12 years. I have worked in both commercial gyms and a specialist gym rehabilitating clients with various serious health conditions and disabilities.
I am passionate about helping people reach their goals and achieving fitness that can be maintained in everyday life. An important part of my role is also about helping people to change their lifestyle habits to ultimately enjoy and continue exercising.
It is really positive that there is increasing recognition around the link between mental health and physical health, and it is so rewarding for me to see the benefits members gain through attending the fitness sessions at BowHaven.
Find out more about what we do, and how we work.
Find out more about what groups we have available.
BowHaven is a registered charity (no:1114194) and limited company (no:5756374).